From Jumping Crocs and Hugging Koalas to Dancing with the Stars!
Even though it has been eight years since the death of Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter, it is easy to remember his wide grin, his passion for animals, and (of course) the classic "Crikey!" He became a household name, the face of animal education for kids and adults alike, and his passing was a loss felt around the world.
Not only a die-hard animal expert, he was also a die-hard family man, a fact made evident on his television show by the regular presence of his wife and their daughter Bindi.
The adoration Irwin had for his little girl was beautifully obvious.
Now 17 years old, Bindi is following enthusiastically in her father's footsteps, carrying on his torch of love and passion for the wild things that share our world.
Wrapping up her final year of school, she is unsurprisingly preparing for full time work at the Australia Zoo.
As she reminisces about her non-traditional childhood, she says,
And about her father:
She asserts that it is a matter of respect for the creatures she works with, stating,
She began appearing on The Crocodile Hunter at a tender two years of age, and at seven she was already starring in her own show called Bindi, the Jungle Girl. It is clear she has a flair for not only the wildlife alone, but for educating others about it. And in an interesting turn, Bindi is taking her dad's legacy to a wider audience this fall. She is competing in Dancing with the Stars and is already poised as one of the show favorites among voters.
Bindi sees this star turn as a way to put the values her dad (who loved to rock out to AC/DC) into practice:
Scroll down to the bottom to catch Bindi in an recent interview about her latest chapter!
Her plans for the future? To become a professional zookeeper.
Are we surprised? Not at all.
Bindi's entire life has been preparing her for her chosen career, and it is wonderful to see how she has blossomed into such a strong next-generation animal activist. And while no one knows better than she does that working with animals can be a dangerous business...
...it remains pretty clear that the fun and fulfillment is more than worth it.
Text by Justin Haley Philips